Squiz Today / 05 August 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 5 August


"Whether this is an historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that, time will tell."

Said French inventor Franky Zapata who yesterday crossed the English Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard. Sure beats swimming it…


There were two mass shootings within a 13 hour period in America on the weekend. Twenty people were killed in a shopping centre in El Paso, Texas in what authorities consider an act of domestic terrorism, and nine were killed in a bar district in Dayton, OhioIn the last week alone, four mass shootings have left at least 34 people dead and more than 50 wounded.

Reports say Patrick Crusius, a 21yo man from Dallas (about 1,000km from El Paso), surrendered to police after his attack on a busy Walmart on Saturday morning local time. Authorities found a four-page manifesto he'd posted online before the attack espousing white nationalist and racist views. Reports say he also expressed sympathy for Australian Brenton Tarrant, the man charged with killing 51 people in March at two mosques in Christchurch. Note: El Paso is close to the US-Mexico border. As for the victims; "The ages and genders of all these people injured and killed are numerous. The situation, needless to say, is a horrific one," said El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen. It is the eighth-most deadly mass shooting in America's modern history.

Unfolding at 1.22am on Sunday morning local time, the lone shooter wearing body armour used "a very large gun" in the city's popular downtown area. Reports say the suspected killer is 24yo Connor Betts, and while his motive is not known, his 22yo sister is among the nine who were killed. A further 26 people were injured. Reports say Betts was shot and killed by police less than a minute into his rampage - they were there quickly because they were patrolling the area. "As bad as this is, it could have been much, much worse," said police chief Matt Carper.



A 6yo boy was airlifted to hospital after he was thrown by a 17yo boy from the 10th floor of the Tate Modern art gallery in Central London overnight. Reports say the child, who did not know the older boy, was thrown from a viewing platform and landed on a fifth-floor roof. The 17yo has been arrested by police and charged with attempted murder. A witness described him as being "quite calm". Police said they have a number of witness statements and they are supporting the young boy's family.


We played host to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and newly-installed Secretary of Defence Mark Esper yesterday for an annual chat with our American cousins about joint strategic interests. Top agenda item: our mutual and enduring love of each other… and the Pacific region. The context for that discussion is China's recent push to build relationships in what has hitherto been Australia and America's backyard. Australia is also giving "very serious consideration" to a request from the US to participate in a US-led coalition to protect shipping in the Gulf from Iranian military forces. Talking up our relationship with the US won't go down particularly well with China, who marked our relationships skills as "unsatisfactory" on the weekend. If we host US ground-based missiles in the north of Australia, that's unlikely to improve…


Despite last week's warnings by Chinese officials to stop the violence, demonstrators have been back at it over the weekend. Things got off to a rocky start when protestors rallied on Saturday in Mong Kok - the site of pro-democracy protests in 2014. Police fired tear gas at crowds on Saturday and Sunday nights to disperse crowds. Reports say protestors changed their approach last night from mass protests to smaller' flash mob' activity. Organisers are urging Hongkongers to join a city-wide strike today that is expected to create significant disruptions across transport networks, including flights. Until tomorrow then…


In bad news for the global economy, last week's talks in Shanghai between top-ranking Chinese and American officials didn't result in any progress being made. Actually, it's worse than that - things went backwards with US President Donald Trump threatening to impose a 10% tariff on US$300 billion worth of Chinese exports. China vowed to retaliate. The tariff hike comes on top of a 25% tariff on US$250 billion of Chinese exports. International markets were down on the news because there's no sense of when the power pair will play nicely. For economies like Australia's, which depends on a predictable world trade system, it's worrying. But Secretary Pompeo yesterday said the US is up for the fight to rebalance the relationship with China. "You can sell your soul for a pile of soybeans, or you can protect your people," he said yesterday.


Champion swimmer Mack Horton told Seven's Sunday Night that he would have taken a stand against "drug cheat" Sun Yang at the recent World Championships even if he'd found out about Shayna Jack's positive test before the competition. "Nothing changes," he said when asked about that scenario. Meanwhile, Swimming Australia boss Leigh Russell told The Weekend Australian (paywall) of her unease over Horton's stand saying she would rather our swimmers be known for their abilities in the pool. It's a saga that's set to continue for some time yet with Commonwealth gold-medalist Shayna Jack kicking off her fight against a four-year ban in the first of what could be many meetings with the anti-doping authority on Friday.


And no, not for the longest tour in history, which is surprising since British pop star Ed Sheeran's Divide tour has been going since March 2017. Instead, its become the highest-grossing tour ever - just in time for it to wrap up at the end of this month after 255 performances worldwide. Breaking a record set by U2 eight years ago, Sheeran's tour has taken A$1.085 billion. Yes, billion. Maybe he can now buy himself that castle on the hill?


Bank Holiday - NSW and ACT; Picnic Day - NT

7.00am (AEST) - Washington Open Tennis - Nick Kyrgios v Daniil Medvedev

8.00pm (AEST) - Final day in the first Ashes Test - Australia v England - it’s getting exciting after former captain Steve Smith's knock overnight…

Start of Dental Health Week

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